So far and officially speaking, only 11-players have been extended invitations as non-roster invitees (NRI) to big league camp with the Washington Nationals big league club. It is the smallest squad ever for the team in what can only be described as quality over quantity since the Top-3 prospects are on the list as well as some promising players signed as free agents to straight minor league deals this offseason.
The NRIs have our top-5 prospects of Dylan Crews, James Wood, Brady House, and Robert Hassell III with Cade Cavalli in attendance as a 40-man player — albeit he most likely will be on the IL to start the season as he recovers from right elbow UCL surgery. Based on general manager Mike Rizzo’s comments at Saturday’s “Hot Stove” event, is anyone surprised to see the players who got special mentions from Riz like Trey Lipscomb and Darren Baker.
You have two players on the NRI list like Joe La Sorsa and Travis Blankenhorn who both played for the 2023 Nats and were DFA roster casualties — but back with the team with invites to big league camp.
With Israel Pineda‘s DFA on Saturday, Brady Lindsly slides up to the fourth catcher spot and gets an NRI invite. Lindsly will be depth behind Keibert Ruiz, Riley Adams, and Drew Millas. We don’t know how much Adams will participate early in camp as he recovers from hamate surgery back in mid-September of the 2023 season.
The top-2 minor league free agents signed in the offseason, Juan Yepez and Lewin Diaz, both made the list. But others like Spenser Watkins, Ty Tice, Samuel Reyes, and Jordan Qsar are not on the NRI list at this point.
You could probably name some other snubs. But expect more players to be added as NRIs, and especially as more minor leaguers are signed.